Want to make dinner in thirty minutes or less?

Knowing how to cook once you’re an adult is essential. Knowing how to cook well will change your life. Knowing how to cook efficiently will REVOLUTIONIZE your universe. Trust me, it’s the truth! I make almost all of my meals in thirty minutes or less, unless I’m feeling bold and make something more in depth. Weeknights I got no time for that, so I stick with efficient and delicious meals. You can too!

That’s right people, most of the time I’m cooking a meal in thirty minutes or less! I usually decide on the fly about what I want to make, having bought veggies and stuff at the store for the week ahead. If my man says let’s do Mexican tonight, I have a bunch of options at my fingertips! One of my favorite and easiest Mexican meals are fajita style vegetables such as peppers, onions, and mushrooms seasoned with taco seasoning and some garlic and chili pepper. I of course add in the hot sauce and limejuice to make things extra yummy! I cook the veggies until they’re tender, sometimes adding in shrimp or veggie crumbles (If you like meat, I recommend lean ground turkey). Normally I’ll make black beans with this and either mix everything together, adding a little cheese, avocado and sour cream on top before serving, or if I have lettuce or spinach available I’ll do a taco salad. Even better is making lettuce wrap tacos; I peal individual leafs off the head of lettuce and stuff them full to make delicious and healthy tacos! I then serve the black beans on the side with any leftover veggies. YEP! So easy to make, and all three meals offer a different style of Mexican. They’re light, fresh and DELISH!

Another style of cuisine that I love to do is salads. Not your everyday salad, but a filling, power packed Mandi Mellen salad! My favorite is making turkey burgers and putting them on top of a salad. You won’t even miss your bun. I like to sauté mushroom and onions to top my turkey burger salad and I use Jenny-O lean ground turkey meat. I season my turkey burgers with dill, chili flakes, hot sauce (Of course!), garlic or garlic powder, and good old pepper. That’s all they need! Sometimes I add a slice of cheese, sometimes I don’t. My salad base is usually spinach mixed with broccoli slaw. I absolutely love the slaw! It’s a mix of shredded broccoli and carrots and you can get it at Trader Joe’s. Chop up some tomato, avocado and put your turkey burger on top, adding the mushrooms and onions last. If you want a dressing, add it, but keep it to about 2 tablespoons, otherwise go with vinegar. My turkey burger salad is filling, under 500 calories and amazingly delish! And let’s not forget, it takes thirty minutes or less!

How about an Asian style meal? Well something new I discovered for a meal base is shredded cabbage. It’s so versatile! You boil that cabbage and use it like it’s a noodle or rice. To go on top I like to stir fry Asian style veggies which I buy frozen. But make sure that bad boy doesn’t have any hidden salt in it! If it’s just me and my guy, I use half the bag. You can also use frozen broccoli or even fresh broccoli and stir fry it up. I add in Chinese five spice, garlic, pepper, chili sauce, and sometimes a little low sodium soy sauce. And let’s not forget the tofu (Or meat if that’s your thing)! I sauté some tofu in another pan and use just a little oil so it can get harder on the outside. Then I season it with chili peppers. Once everything is cooked, I put the cabbage down, veggies, tofu and enjoy! It’s so easy, healthy, low in carbs, full of veggies, and you get some protein from the tofu. Also, under thirty minutes to make.

Cooking can be creative and fun, but it doesn’t have to be time consuming. My three examples are just a few of the style cuisines I love to make. Sure, other things take longer to cook, BUT the prep time is never more than thirty minutes. Example being, baked, stuffed sweet potatoes! Pop a sweet potato, or regular potato, wrapped in tin foil into the oven for 45mins – 1hr depending on your oven and then sauté some veggies. Take the potatoes out of the oven, cut, and fill with the veggies! Add cheese if you’re feeling fancy and re-bake for ten more minutes. After the timer dings, top with avocado and sour cream. Then enjoy! The prep time is nothing! And if you’re home and have work to do, it’s easy to pop those bad boys in the oven and walk back to your computer. Easy, filling and efficient!

There you have it, four delicious meals with no reason not to cook them yourself! Everything I suggested is under 500 calories, healthy, quick and easy to make. Trust me and have fun with what you make. Experiment and you’ll become more confident in the kitchen! And if you’re a planner on the go, feel free and make a bunch of these things in advance to bring with you for lunch and dinner. Woo! Stay healthy and eat clean. You’ll no longer be a slave to pre-made, takeout, or frozen meals again. You’re now making delicious meals in less than thirty minutes. GO YOU!

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